Mark came to The Welcome Centre in September 2018, and was struggling with mental health issues.
He'd been diagnosed with social anxiety and epilepsy and this meant he was classed as a vulnerable adult. He was claiming varied benefits, however in September 2018 he failed an assessment for Personal Independence Payments (PIP). His weekly income suddenly dropped by just under £80.00 per week.
Mark got support from the Citizens Advice Bureau to appeal this decision.
It took 9 months before the case came to the appeals court, during which time, he was on reduced income.
My physical and mental health deteriorated. My epilepsy increased significantly and I was having fits up to five times per week. I became severely depressed.
Cath (Development Worker at The Welcome Centre) referred him to IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) for further support. Unfortunately, they didn’t feel their service was appropriate and he would struggle to engage until his financial situation was resolved.
The Welcome Centre supported Mark with weekly food parcels and toiletries as required.
We supported him to deal with other issues such as his increasing debts and advocated on his behalf. Finally, in April 2019 the original decision was over turned and he was awarded a PIP payment to the end of 2021, alongside a back dated sum.
Mark is still struggling to come to terms with what has happened in the last 12 months.
I still feel numb but I'm pleased that it's all over.
To show his appreciation to The Welcome Centre he bought staff and volunteers a box of chocolates alongside a financial donation.